Top Ten Places to Encounter Whales

Eastern Hemisphere: Kaikoura, New Zealand

You'll find Kaikoura on the South Island of New Zealand. The waters here are both deep and rich in nutrients, making it one of the few places in the world where you can see sperm whales close to shore. Sperm whales are the longest and deepest diving of any cetacean; for the most part they inhabit deep water. Sperms are the Moby Dick whale. They were hunted for the waxy substance in their head, which does resemble sperm, and their plentiful blubber. From the bluffs here you can see the outlines of the whales, along with their especially powerful 15-foot "blows." (As in, "thar she blows!") But only the most-seasick prone will not want to take one of the many excellent whale watching cruises available here.

Just the Facts

What you might see there: Sperm whale, humpback, Hectors dolphin, Dusky dolphins, pilot whales, southern rights, minkes, seis and fins

Viewing options: Boat, shore


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